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Barca agree to sign Coutinho from Liverpool

  • Published at 04:51 am January 7th, 2018
Barca agree to sign Coutinho from Liverpool
Barcelona will sign Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool on a five-and-a-half year contract, the two clubs said Saturday. British media reported that the Spanish club will pay about 142m pounds ($193m) for Coutinho, making it the second most expensive transfer in football history. "Barca and Liverpool have reached an agreement for the transfer of Coutinho," the La Liga leader said in a statement. "The player will sign a contract for the rest of the season and five more and will have a release clause of 400m euros. Liverpool confirmed the deal. "Liverpool FC can confirm Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barca, subject to medical and agreement of personal terms," the Premier League club said. "The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately." Paris St Germain paid Barca 222m euros for Brazilian forward Neymar in August and the French club will pay Monaco 180m euros to sign Kylian Mbappe when he completes a loan spell this season. Coutinho's fee will eclipse both the 105m euros Barca paid Borussia Dortmund for France forward Ousmane Dembele in August and the 75m pounds ($102) Liverpool received from Barca for Luis Suarez in 2014. Coutinho will be unable to play for Barca in the Champions League this season after taking part in the competition for Liverpool but he will boost their bid for a 25th La Liga title. Ernesto Valverde's side have a six-point lead at the top of the standing with a game in hand against Levante Sunday. Newspaper AS said Coutinho is expected to attend the match at the Nou Camp in the presidential box. Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said the club had tried everything to keep Coutinho at Anfield but the player had remained determined to join Barca since they had bids for him rejected in August. "It is with great reluctance that we – as a team and club – prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Coutinho," Klopp said in a statement on Liverpool's website. "I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our mean to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100% certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barca. "It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind." Klopp also hinted that Liverpool, who recently signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for 75m pounds, a world record for a defender, would spend the money for Coutinho on new players in the January transfer window. “I have so much belief in the talent we have here already and even more faith, together with our owners, that we will make continued investment into the playing squad, which will allow more growth and more improvement," Klopp added.
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